By Bella Butler COMMUNITY AND ENVIRONMENT EDITOR
BIG SKY—While the slopes will be empty on April 19, Big Sky Resort’s formerly scheduled closing day, a caravan pep rally will bring an improvised celebration to the streets instead.
“We all look forward to having a bookend to celebrate the big season finale and we didn’t get to do that,” said Big Sky local and Big Sky Community Organization board member Tallie Lancey.
Feeling the absence of a treasured community day, Lancey started making calls. Resounding enthusiasm from various groups got the ball rolling quickly, and the idea for the Big Sky CAREavan was born.
At 3 p.m., Big Sky residents are invited to move their shelter-in-place to their vehicles and gather in the parking lot at the Wilson Hotel. From there, a train of cars will follow the sirens of the fire and sheriff’s departments to thank health care workers at the Bozeman Health Big Sky Medical Center with a cheer of collective honking.
On the way up the mountain, a jubilant playlist, curated by the Arts Council of Big Sky’s Executive Director Brian Hurlbut, will be broadcasted on The Eagle 104.7 FM radio station for everyone to enjoy in their own vehicles. Interspersed with upbeat songs, messages from familiar community voices will thank frontline workers and encourage donations to the Big Sky Relief Fund, which has a targeted fundraising goal of $11,166 for the event, symbolic of the elevation of Lone Mountain.
The CAREavan will top out at Big Sky Resort, where a “vehicle photo booth” will offer the chance to capture a memento from the celebration. Lancey hopes that people will dress up, decorate their vehicles and drive wrapped business cars to show love to local businesses.
When everyone has gone through the photo booth, local musician Brian Stumpf will direct everyone over the radio broadcast to return home and tune into Facebook Live to cap off the festivities with virtual live music on “Stumpy Sundays.”
The Big Sky CAREavan is a collective effort presented by Big Sky Resort, BSCO, ACBS and Big Sky Relief.
“I just want everyone in Big Sky to at least have an hour of feeling really good,” Lancey said.
Donate to the cause at bigskyrelief.org/donate/